Rainy Day Walks at Totem Park

Steady rain through mid afternoon. Winds seemed fairly calm until showers started moving over after a break in the rain.

It took me a little while to get motivated for a walk in the rain, but I did eventually put on my raingear and head down to the park.

The tide was not quite as low as yesterday. Although the minimum was at nearly 9:30am, it had already started to come back up by the time I made it down.

Before going down to the beach, I checked out the building for moths. I didn’t see anything new, but did become distracted by abundant liverwort sporophytes in the little vegetated area on between the building and the forest.

While checking out the sporophytes, I also spotted a springtail, and spent a few minutes trying for decent photos of it (with a bit of success). With my camera trained on the small arthropod, I noticed on the screen an even smaller one which I also tried to get photos of.

I poked around a bit in the large tidepool area before heading out to the southern point.

I could see there were birds far out by the water line, but was not feeling especially ambitious. Plus there were a couple of folks already out on the flats who appeared to slowly making their way along looking at birds. I didn’t want to spook everything up before they had much chance.

I ended up sitting on the sandy slope and watching. Despite the rain, I felt comfortable with my layers (and no wind). Over the better part of a half an hour, I sat, listened, and watched.

Pipits were nearby, as well as the six Snow Geese which walked up towards me before moving on towards the point. Four Black Oystercatchers flew in, and I saw a Black-bellied Plover, but most of the rest was too far out for a decent chance to identify.

Before heading back, I did walk out towards the old channel and then up to the trail.

Along the small trail by the estuary, I noticed another place where rocks had been pulled out recently (I think), exposing a hole. I had seen a couple other places recently and wondered if a bear might have done it. Given the size of some of the rocks, it’s hard to imagine anything here besides a bear or humans that could move them.

Later this afternoon after the rain had let up and I saw a report of a Long-billed Dowitcher observed at the park earlier in the day, I decided to head back down.

This time, the tide was up and had just started its retreat. A good number of shorebirds were along the shoreline between the southern point and the river. Among them were over 100 Dunlin, 5 Black-bellied Plovers, dowitchers, Western Sandipipers, Least Sandpipers, a Whimbrel and a Marbled Godwit. As I was leaving a bit later the Black Turnstones started to arrive.

There were also good numbers of ducks out on the water. As they came a bit closer to shore, I tried counting what I could. I got 25 Northern Shovelers, 50 Northern Pintails and 15 American Wigeons. I didn’t try to count the other species, except for the 2 Gadwall. It was nice to see four Red-breasted Mergansers, the first I’ve seen in a couple of weeks, at least.

While I was there, the first of the showers came. The rain and breeze made things feel much chillier, and I had not layered up as much as this morning. By the time I got back to my car, I was a bit wet and chilled.

On a brief check of Starrigavan, it seemed fairly quiet. Not many ducks around, in any case.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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